Couple don't kid about with 1,000 goats for charity
A farming couple who have reared almost 1,000 goats that have been sent to African families as part of the Bothar charity have been honoured by their local community.
Jimmy and Elizabeth Lennon from Moydrum, Co Westmeath, have been rearing goats for Bothar on their drystock farm since 2005.
Please log in or register with Farming Independent for free access to this article.
"Our daughter was taking part in a charity horse ride for Bothar and we came in contact with the Moate Bothar group, and that's where our involvement began," says Jimmy, who is a retired bus driver in the locality.
"We get the goats from goat farmer and cheesemaker Haske Knippels, who is based in Portumna, Co Galway, for reduced rates, and he always gives us a few for free as well."
Jimmy and Elizabeth rear between 60 and 100 kid goats each year. They receive the goats at three weeks old, and when they are 12 weeks old, they share them among other Moate Bothar volunteers for further rearing.
Jimmy says that while it is possible to rear goats on a small patch of land, the kids need a lot of looking after at the start.
"We feed them with Lamblac a few times a day. It suits us because we are at home all of the time and can bring one in by the fire if needed.
"Good fencing is a must as well because they can escape quite often.
"We always rear the Saanen breed of goats as they are the most productive. They're the Friesian cow of the goat."
Volunteer and dairy farmer Colm Doyle, who visited Rwanda in 2017 to see the families where the goats had been sent to, says it opened his eyes to the importance of goat rearing.
"I visited households where kids who were eight years old looked four years old, which really struck me, but when I went to the houses that had Bothar goats for a few years, the children looked their age," says Colm.
"They weren't dressed in fancy clothes or didn't live in big houses, but they looked their age and were healthy. When you have children of your own, you realise what matters."
Colm, who is following in the footsteps of his late father Jimmy in rearing goats, says the Moate Bothar group is grateful to all who volunteer or donate in any way throughout the year and would encourage anybody considering rearing a goat to get in touch with them.
For Stories Like This and More
Download the Free Farming Independent App